Key dates from Whitney Houston's life and work

February 12, 2012 - 2:15 AM

1963: Whitney Elizabeth Houston is born in East Orange, N.J. to gospel singer Cissy Houston on Aug. 9.

1974: Starts performing as soloist in junior gospel choir at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, N.J.

1978: Sings backup on mother's album "Think It Over," beginning run of backup performances for artists including Chaka Khan, Jermaine Jackson and Lou Rawls.

1983: Arista records executive sees her performing on stage with her mother, label head Clive Davis sees her soon after and signs her to contract.

1985: Debut album, "Whitney Houston," is released, selling millions and spawning huge hits "How Will I Know," ''You Give Good Love," ''Saving All My Love For You" and "Greatest Love of All."

1987: Multiplatinum follow-up album "Whitney" is released. Includes hits "I Wanna Dance With Somebody," ''So Emotional" and "Where Do Broken Hearts Go."

1988: Records theme song for Seoul Olympics, "One Moment In Time."

1991: Returns to limelight with performance of "The Star Spangled Banner" at the Super Bowl during the first Gulf War.

1992: Stars opposite Kevin Costner in "The Bodyguard." The hit film makes Houston a Hollywood star and its theme song, "I Will Always Love You," becomes a signature hit that tops charts for weeks and wins Grammys for record of the year and best female pop vocal.

1992: Begins high profile and tumultuous marriage to former New Edition member and soul-singing star Bobby Brown.

1993: Has daughter with Brown, Bobbi Kristina.

1995: Stars in movie "Waiting to Exhale."

1996: Stars opposite Denzel Washington in "The Preacher's Wife."

1997: Appears as fairy godmother in TV version of Rogers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella."

1998: Releases album "My Love Is Your Love." Song "It's Not Right But It's Okay" brings Grammy for best female R&B vocal.

2003: Police respond to domestic violence call from Houston about Brown. Police find Houston with cut lip and bruised cheek.

2004: Briefly enters drug rehabilitation clinic.

2005: Returns to drug rehab under court order.

2005: Appears in reality TV show "Being Bobby Brown."

2006: Files for legal separation from Brown.

2007: Divorces Brown.

2009: Comeback album "I Look To You" debuts at top of charts, eventually goes platinum.

2009: In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, declares herself drug free. She would return to rehab in 2011.

2012: Dies at age 48 in a hotel room in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Feb. 11.